The Health Care Question

Is it really a question? I mean, seriously, there is only one answer if you are a human being with morals and a heart. Does everyone deserve quality, affordable (or even better … FREE) healthcare regardless of their state of employment or financial status.

ummm…. YES.

Wikipedia has a list of countries with some kind of universal healthcare and guess what? The US is still not on it. I’m lucky. I have insurance through my husband’s work since my old job did not provide it. With the job change, I’ll likely switch over to insurance under my new organization so they will have to cover me. If I had to go get it on my own? Well, under Trumps plan I have three preexisting conditions so who knows how that would work out.

I’ll spare you the gory details but due to one of these conditions I had to have a medical procedure earlier this year (not a super dangerous or terribly scary one, mind you), and I had to spend five hours in the hospital and undergo anesthesia. Keep in mind that I have a great health insurance plan. Cost out of pocket? About $600 up-front before they would even take me back to have the procedure done. I had to get my credit card out twice while I was in a hospital gown. After the procedure? A bill for about $300 arrived that insurance would not cover. No one at the hospital prepared me for these costs. The procedure was simply recommended due to my condition and it was assumed that I would follow through. The only financial counseling given to me was a phone call the day before I went in where a receptionist told me the cost I’d have to pay when I got there. Mind you, the procedure was already scheduled and I’d already done half the prep for it at home the day before. Yeah. None of this was a pleasant experience.

Let me compare that to a friend, a US citizen, who had an accident in Denmark that required a visit to the hospital, a CT scan, and stitches. She was there for three hours, they took all of her information, copied her passport, did all of these procedures, gave her pain meds, and when they discharged her, did not charge her one single dime. Nor did she receive a bill later. They were actually confused when she asked whether she needed to pay anything!

Now, I know the counter argument. It costs too much. Countries with free healthcare have ridiculous taxes, and I won’t deny that. But NOT having free healthcare? People die because they can’t pay for the drugs and treatment they need. It’s usually not the very poor who suffer, either. It’s the folks just above the poverty line or just below the middle class mark who make too much to qualify for help and too little to pay for what’s needed. It’s the blue collar workers. It’s the Trump voters.

By continuing to not fund healthcare, we are making the rich richer and the sick sicker. That’s all there is to it.

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